Ellen DeGeneres has addressed allegations of a toxic work environment at The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as the daytime TV programme returns to screens today (21 September).
Delivering a monologue to a virtual audience at the epiosde's start, the star said: "I take full responsibility for what happens at my show."
The video was shared on the show's official Twitter account, along with the caption: "We're starting a new chapter." It was also posted to YouTube.
Ellen began hosting The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2003 (Picture: CBS)
Introducing season 18, Ellen joked: "If you're watching because you love me, thank you. If you're watching because you don't, welcome."
She then added: "How was everybody's summer? Mine was great - super terrific!"
Throughout much of summer 2020, Ellen and other show producers been accused of fostering a toxic workplace environment by current and former employees.
According to a BuzzFeed investigation published in July, staff claimed they feared racism and intimidation behind the scenes on the show.
In today's video, 62-year-old Ellen explained that an investigation into the allegations had taken place, saying: "I learned things happened here that never should have happened.
Today we’re starting a new chapter. pic.twitter.com/PvpZXnXLv5— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 21, 2020
"I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know I'm in a position of priviledge and power and I realise with that comes responsibility. And I take responsibility for what happens at my show."
The star also discussed her "be kind" persona, saying: "There were also articles in the press and on social media that said I am not who I appear to be on TV, because I became known as the 'be kind lady'.
"Here's how that happened. I started saying 'be kind to one and other' after a young man named Tyler Clementi took his own life after being bullied for being gay.
"I thought the world needed more kindness. [...] I think we need it more than ever now."
The Ellen DeGeneres Show suspended production in March due to coronavirus.